Still Life

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by the BFI and the films on them.

Moderator: MichaelB

Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
bigP
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:59 am
Location: Reading, UK

Still Life

#1 Post by bigP » Fri May 23, 2008 10:48 am

Still Life

Image

Set against the spectacular landscape of the Three Gorges region, Jia Zhangke's humane and moving Golden-Lion winner tells two contemplative and compassionate stories of a man and a woman searching for absent spouses in Fengjie, an ancient town on the Yangtze River which is being demolished and will soon vanish for ever in the flooding caused by the controversial Three Gorges hydroelectric dam project.

At the same time as offering a revelatory, thought-provoking portrait of people adrift in a world they no longer recognise, Still Life also reveals their energy, resilience and ability to reach new understandings.
With long, uninterrupted takes, Jia Zhangke subjects the changing landscape to intense lyrical scrutiny, illuminating the relationship between individuals and their environment and the strange co-existence of man-made squalor with so much natural beauty.

Extras:

- Feature Commentary by Tony Rayns
- Dong (Jia Zhangke, 2006, 66 minutes) a documentary companion piece to Still Life on painter Liu Xiaodong and his subjects: male labourers from Still Life and female entertainment workers in Bangkok
- Illustrated booklet with essays by Chris Berry, Jia Zhanke; and interviews with Jia , director biography

User avatar
What A Disgrace
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 10:34 pm
Contact:

#2 Post by What A Disgrace » Tue Jul 01, 2008 5:30 pm

bigP wrote:Zhangke Jia's 'Still Life' is now available for Pre-Order at Amazon at £14.99

and Play at £12.99.

Scheduled for August 18th. No further specs listed yet.
Full specs for Still Life, courtesy of Movie Mail.

- Feature Commentary by Tony Rayns
- Dong (Jia Zhangke, 2006, 66 minutes) a documentary companion piece to Still Life on painter Liu Xiaodong and his subjects: male labourers from Still Life and female entertainment workers in Bangkok
- Illustrated booklet with essays by Chris Berry, Jia Zhanke, interview with Jia and a director biography.

User avatar
foggy eyes
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2006 9:58 am
Location: UK

#3 Post by foggy eyes » Sat Aug 30, 2008 10:50 am

Still Life

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

The transfer does appear to be interlaced (more noticeable at some points than at others - nothing particularly harmful). I haven't listened to all of the Tony Rayns commentary, but it sounds ok - although, apart from some valuable social and cultural information, it didn't seem to offer a great deal more than a solid piece of print criticism like this. The booklet is excellent, offering an essay from Chris Berry, two interviews with Jia, and his article Images that Cannot be Banned - New Cinema in China from 1995. The transfer of Dong is flawless:

Image
Image

I'm absolutely thrilled that the BFI picked these films up and gave them the attention they deserve - very few directors are working at Jia's level, and this release is utterly essential.

User avatar
foggy eyes
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2006 9:58 am
Location: UK

#4 Post by foggy eyes » Thu Sep 04, 2008 11:08 am

Beaver on Still Life, which means that the caps I posted were pretty much a waste of time (never mind).

User avatar
colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

#5 Post by colinr0380 » Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:51 pm


User avatar
MichaelB
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:20 pm
Location: Worthing
Contact:

#6 Post by MichaelB » Thu Sep 18, 2008 7:42 am


User avatar
Kirkinson
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2004 5:34 am
Location: Portland, OR

Re:

#7 Post by Kirkinson » Thu Feb 26, 2009 5:16 am

foggy eyes wrote:The transfer does appear to be interlaced
I've been reading this in reviews for nearly all DVDs of Jia's films, and I'm wondering if it's a misplaced worry. Has anyone read anything conclusive about what format Jia shoots on? Since he's working with video, his footage may well be interlaced to begin with. If that's the case, a progressive transfer would be impossible to achieve without at least a little loss in image resolution. I'd be very curious to find out for sure.

User avatar
foggy eyes
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2006 9:58 am
Location: UK

Re: Re:

#8 Post by foggy eyes » Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:26 am

Kirkinson wrote:Has anyone read anything conclusive about what format Jia shoots on? Since he's working with video, his footage may well be interlaced to begin with. If that's the case, a progressive transfer would be impossible to achieve without at least a little loss in image resolution. I'd be very curious to find out for sure.
Somebody with more technical know-how should answer, but I really don't think so. I've seen HD projections of Still Life, Dong, Useless & 24 City that were clean as a whistle, and the AE & Zeitgeist DVDs of Unknown Pleasures & The World (which I've only seen theatrically on 35mm) aren't interlaced...

User avatar
DrBroel
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 1:55 pm

Re: Still Life

#9 Post by DrBroel » Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:36 am

im just quoting the shelly kraicer piece, so im sure you have already seen this but:
Shelly Kraicer wrote:On the screen, Still Life offers an unusual kind of beauty, both astringent and monumental. This beauty is mediated through images that are distinctly video in origin (HD, but video all the same). It’s there in the crispness of line, in the almost brutal sense of contrast between hot whites and dim blacks. We are far from the lush HD images of The World, the degraded medium definition video of Unknown Pleasures (2002), the classical 35mm palette of Platform, or the 16mm indie grunge of Xiao Wu (1997).

User avatar
Cronenfly
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:04 pm

Re: Still Life

#10 Post by Cronenfly » Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:39 am

Anyone know why this is so pricey right now? Can’t seem to find a good place to order it internationally.

Post Reply